Palestine Main Street and Palestine Tomorrow Inc. received the award-winning artists of the Palestine Art Tracks Sculpture exhibit Tuesday.
The Art Tracks trail is in its seventh year of beautifying downtown Palestine with innovative and decorative art. Each piece for the outdoor exhibit was chosen for quality, workmanship, and family friendliness.
Eighteen sculptures were accepted for display in October, and the top three winners have been chosen.
Palestine Mayor Steve Presley praised the artists and their works, citing their continued contributions to Palestine.
The 18 sculptures were judge by 15 community members. Each piece had to meet three areas of criteria and were judged with a point system.
This year’s first place winner, with “Air Stream Baby Carriage” was by Robbie Barber. The second place winner, with “Nuttin But A Garden” by Jan Dean, Kathy and Deano’ Dean. The third place winner, with “Voodoo Jet” was Jim Robertson.
This was the second sculpture series for the Dean trio to participate in and the first for Jim Robertson.
The Dean Trio works primarily with both metal and glass. They plan to enter a waterfall in the next series.
Robertson is a retired college art teacher and enjoys working making sculptures of metal. He plans to enter in the next Art Tracks series and spread the word amongst his circle of sculpting friends.
First place winner Robbie Barber was not present for the ceremony.
Trophies for this year's award, created by the Union Pacific rail-yard shop, replicate a piece of cut rail and railroad spikes.
This year, monetary awards given to the top three artist were provided by Ben E. Keith Distributors, Pumping Services, Inc., and Jackson Hanks.
Jean Mollard, a Palestine Tomorrow, Inc., board member, put on the soiree at The Redlands, a hotel and restaurant she owns with her husband.
The idea for the Art Tracks trail began in 2010, after sculptor Dale Montagne visited Palestine.
He offered Jean Mollard, Jackson Hanks, and others the idea of sculpture art as a downtown attraction. Montagne told them to reflect train motifs or railroad history in Palestine’s public spaces.
The group then formed Palestine Tomorrow, Inc., a nonprofit group to provide and encourage parks and the arts in Palestine.
In 2012, the group, along with Palestine Main Street, hosted its first Art Tracks Trail.
Since then, 90 sculptures have beautified Main Street. Most of the sculptures are for sale.
They can be purchased for private display, or donated to the city for the sculpture park under development across from the Visitor Center.
During a sculpture tour, check out the base of each sculpture. This unique touch was created from actual railroad wheels donated by Union Pacific Railroad. These stands serve as the “cohesive design element for the exhibit.”
Palestine Tomorrow, Inc., is working to create and establish a rail-themed park that could include additional static displays of historic railroad equipment. “Forging History” will then move to the railroad park, where it will remain.
Artists interested in exhibiting in the 2019-2020 Sculpture Exhibit can download an application at www.palestinemainstreet.org or contact the Main Street office at 903-723-3014.
For more information or to be part of the projects of the local Main Street program, visit www.facebook.com/palestinemainstreet, or call 903-723-3014.